Community condemns anti-Semitic graffiti found on Oakley, Madisonville overpass

Anti-semitic graffiti on railroad overpass

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Community leaders came together Friday in a show of solidarity after anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a railroad overpass on Madison Road in between Madisonville and Oakley.

“The fact is, someone—right here in our city—likely under the cover of darkness, took a lot of time to deliberately write out in large letters and on a bridge across one of our city’s main roadways one of the oldest, most insidious antisemitic tropes that exist," Jackie Congedo of the Jewish Community Relations Council said.

The graffiti, which spans the entire length of the bridge, reads “The Jews killed Christ. They are the enemies of the whole human race.”

The JCRC says the person or persons responsible may have chosen the overpass because it’s on a busy street.

“Does this mean that, unfortunately, anti-Semitism is alive and well in Cincinnati? Oh absolutely. Hatred is alive and well,” Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor said.

Pastor is Jewish and also a religious historian.

“I have a Masters of Divinity Degree, so I can tell you that the Jews did not kill Jesus Christ,” Pastor said.

The graffiti was found Thursday afternoon.
The graffiti was found Thursday afternoon. (Source: JCRC)

The JCRC says the best defense against hate is when a community comes together to show they will not stand for an act like this.

“This despicable graffiti is unfortunately part of a disturbing trend worldwide, but we will not tolerate these acts in our community. Cincinnati stands by our Jewish neighbors and will continue to fight against hate of all kinds,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said.

The JCRC says it has been working closely with SAFE Cincinnati, their Jewish Community security team, who was quickly in touch with federal and local police, who are investigating the incident. They also worked with the city to ensure the graffiti was cleaned off quickly.

Antisemitic graffiti was spray painted on a railroad trestle by Madison Bowl on Madison Road between Madisonville and Oakley. It was removed Friday afternoon.
Antisemitic graffiti was spray painted on a railroad trestle by Madison Bowl on Madison Road between Madisonville and Oakley. It was removed Friday afternoon. (Source: Jewish Community Relations Council)

Law enforcement still doesn’t know who did this. The faith coalition is urging anyone with information to come forward and share it with police.

Councilman Pastor has a message for the person or people responsible.

“The Torah and rabbi’s have taught us this concept: ‘Tikkun Olam, or the Repair of the World’. We will all work together to repair this world, so that folks like you will never feel the urge to hate your fellow human," Pastor said.

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